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Rickie Lambert must learn how to deal with the demands of being an international star, says Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino says he is pleased with the contribution of Rickie Lambert this season, but the Saints manager has admitted the striker is having to learn how to cope with the extra physical and mental stress involved with being an England international.
Lambert has netted just once for his club this term, scoring a penalty on the opening day of the campaign at West Brom.
He has had more luck in an England shirt, though, with two goals in his first three appearances for his country.
Pochettino insists he is confident the goals will soon be flowing again for the 31-year-old at Saints, but he pointed out that Lambert is now having to adapt to a very different situation.
“We are very happy and pleased with how he’s playing, very happy with his contributions to the team and I have no doubts the goals will start coming from him as well,” he said.
“In addition to that, there is a new situation Rickie Lambert is going through – he’s 31-years-old and only now in the international side and there is a lot of expectation placed on him.
“It’s something he has to adapt to that new situation he is going through, but we are very relaxed about his contribution and performances.”
Pochettino added: “I think he needs time to adapt to his new situation, especially being 31-years-old.
“I think it places a lot of physical and mental stress on him to be all of a sudden this big star or big name in the international side.
“He needs to be able to withstand and adapt to that mental pressure and that physical pressure that he is facing at the moment.”
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